Designed by T.E.Heywood, 'Gordon Highlander' is one of a class of eight mixed traffic locomotives built in 1920 and based on the earlier Pickersgill class 'Y' locomotives. 4-4-0 locomotives had been popular for use on the Great North of Scotland Railway since 1862 and Class 'F' was the last Class of this type to be built.
The Class was built for general traffic use to the north and west of Aberdeen and No.49 was based for much of her working life at Keith Depot. She was named after the local regiment and nick-named 'the Sojer' (the Soldier').
The Class, fitted with superheated boilers, worked express passenger services for ten or more years from 1920, then they were transferred to less onerous duties. They often pulled the Royal Train on Deeside to Ballater.
Retired by British Railways in 1957, No.49 was ear-marked for preservation and was repainted in pre-Heywood livery. She worked steam excursions until 1966 and was then placed in the Glasgow Museum of Transport. She arrived on loan to the SRPS Museum in 2011.